Military Wives As Surrogate Mothers
July 2, 2008
This issue bothers me on several levels, which I’ll address in this post. As many of you know, I work in the field of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault as a Victim Advocate. In that capacity, I see a lot of victims of domestic violence. This story rang a lot of warning bells in my head, as I can see the potential for problems occurring in relationships where this occurs. But besides the obvious impact something like this could have on Domestic Violence incidents, is the financial aspect and how it can impact not just the military spouse who choses to become a surrogate mother, but other military spouses and spouses of veterans.
In the military, while the service member pays a small monthly premium for their family’s health care, as long as that family member receives their healthcare on a military installation, there are no deductibles or co-pays. It’s apparent that surrogacy groups are taking advantage of that and putting other military families at risk of having their monthly premiums increased or even causing them to have to begin paying deductibles and co-pays. By using a military wife as a surrogate mother, surrogacy groups avoid paying about $20,000 for a standard surrogacy medical policy. They also don’t have to pay the deductibles and co-payments. Because of this advantage, some surrogacy groups will pay an additional $5,000 premium to military wives. After reading this article, I spoke to several military wives, wives of retirees, as well as Soldiers and military retirees. To a person, they all said that this angers them, because things like this drive the costs up for everyone else and they felt it was unfair that a military wife would take advantage of the Tricare medical insurance, in order to put some extra money in their pocket. I tend to agree with them. Tricare for retirees and their families does require the retiree to pay deductibles and co-pays, as well as a much higher premium each month. We’ve all seen the news reports about retiree Tricare being on the rise. Things like this just make those rates continue to increase. Then you also have the issue that the military wives who are surrogates are commiting fraud at the expense of American taxpayers.
Now I’ll more thoroughly address the issue of how this can possibly affect Domestic Violence rates. For myself, I see this type of thing compounding the numbers of domestic violence cases, that are already seen in the military, numbers that are a direct reflection of domestic violence incidents seen in American society. With the stressors of multiple deployments occurring and stressors that are caused from injuries and illnesses, I can see this creating a situation ripe for domestic violence. Sometimes, with a Soldier deployed, there are doubts about what their spouse is doing back home. Some wonder, sometimes with good reason, if their wive is being faithful to them while their deployed. By adding surrogate motherhood into the mix of an already possibly volatile situation, the potential of a domestic violence incident occurring increases. I did find it interesting in the article, that it wasn’t mentioned the thoughts of the husbands. No husbands were interviewed about their thoughts and feelings. Kind of makes you wonder, doesn’t it? I know it did me.
While I don’t condem anyone who is unable to have children, for chosing the route of using a surrogate mother, I do feel that in this situation, it’s not only fradulent, but ripe for so many potential problems. In this instance, as in other instances of surrogate motherhood, the standard surrogate insurance plan should be purchased, instead of expecting the American taxpayers to foot the bill. I’m sure this topic is going to create some interesting conversations and hopefully get many people to thinking. I know that I’ll be letting my Congressmen know my thoughts on this issue. I would be interested in hearing what others think about this issue.